Watchdog Uncovers New Evidence of Quid Pro Quo at Hillary State Dept.
Judicial Watch obtains Huma Abedin emails revealing favors for Clinton Foundation donors
Judicial Watch released 448 pages of documents Friday showing further incidences that Huma Abedin, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff in the State Department, gave special treatment to Clinton Foundation donors while Clinton served as secretary of state.
Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct government business clouded her presidential campaign. The latest batch of documents released Friday arrived long after the conservative legal watchdog organization filed its lawsuit, in May 2015, requesting “all emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from Jan. 1, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013, using a non-‘state.gov’ email address.”
The pages Judicial Watch released included six email exchanges that Clinton had failed to turn over to the State Department; they brought to 439 the total number of known emails that Clinton didn't turn over. Although Clinton submitted roughly 55,000 pages of emails during the course of the probe into her private email server, these additional emails appear to contradict her statement that "as far as she knew" she had turned over all of her government email exchanges.
"I'm not sure how much more evidence of pay for play, classified information mishandling, and influence peddling from Clinton's email server one would need to show a serious criminal investigation is required," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement Friday.
The newly released documents reveal multiple instances of Clinton Foundation donors receiving favors from the State Department. In addition, Clinton Global Initiative executive Doug Band featured prominently throughout the pages as he appeared to wield his influence in Clinton's State Department. Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham, also acted as a sort of go-between for Abedin and Clinton Foundation donor Richard Park.
As Judicial Watch's press release read, "A number of emails show the free flow of information and requests for favors between Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation."
Band ordered Abedin in one exchange to "show love to" Clinton Foundation donor Andrew Liveris, asking that Abedin "mention both me and wjc," an apparent reference to former President Bill Clinton. Liveris is the CEO of Dow Chemical, a company that donated at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. Band also requested that Clinton consider granting Clinton Foundation contributor Karlheinz Koegel's request that she speak at an event.
Rodham also lobbied for his friend, Clinton donor Richard Park, to receive access to Clinton. Park asked Rodham to forward a speaking request for Bill Clinton "to your sister" for her to pass along.
Clinton donor Ben Ringel emailed Abedin and requested that she help an Iranian woman obtain a U.S. visa, writing, "We need to get her clearance even only temporary to be with her granddaughter." Band also used Abedin to help Canadian Clinton donor Michael Cohl obtain a visa. In both cases, Abedin complied and forwarded on the email requests.
An email exchange from May 2009 showed Abedin informing Band that Clinton's then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, was working "under the radar" on a "career post" at the State Department. As an executive with the Clinton Global Initiative, Band did not need to be involved in the inner workings of the State Department. But Abedin also discussed the U.S. ambassadorship to Barbados with Band after her recommended a candidate to fill the position. Abedin told Band, "I know, he's emailed a few times. But she wants to give to someone else."
"Other emails found in Abedin's unsecure email account appear to show additional instances of the Clinton State Department's lax approach to protecting national security," Judicial Watch's press release noted.
In some cases, Abedin forwarded emails to her unsecured account with information pertaining to "foreign governments" and "national defense or foreign policy." One email included portions of Obama's schedule for June 4, 2009. Clinton's own daily schedules were sent to Clinton Foundation associates on a few occasions. Information regarding "federal preparedness and response for an international terrorist threat to the United States," "The Secretary's Phone Call with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang," and "The Secretary's Phone Call with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov" were also sent to the unsecured email server.
Although former FBI Director James Comey announced in July 2016 that Clinton would face no charges for her decision to utilize a private email server, he said that "there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information." Even months after Clinton's Election Day loss, her use of the private email server and Abedin's handling of State Department correspondences continue to haunt them.